Recording Artist Advocate: Work Harder and Smarter - than them...

You've heard of the 80 - 20 rule, right? Or is it the 20 - 80 rule?

It's called the Pareto Principal. (Thanks Wikipedia) It's also called the "rule of the vital few".

In a nutshell, and for our purposes, l it just means 20 percent of bands will get 80 percent of the success. The most "vital" get the success. That should be you.

Before you say, "That's not fair." Then the universe isn't fair you crybaby. 

20 percent of salespeople get 80 percent of the business because they aren't afraid to ask for it and they ask more than anyone else. 20 percent of trees get 80 percent of the light because they grow higher and they get more water with deeper roots.

Rise above the rest the same way.

Write more songs so the 20 percent that are good make up for the 80 percent that suck. You know it's true. Some runts just need to be taken behind the barn.  Bam!

Ask for more gigs, and when you get a no - ask more venues. If you don't ask you don't get. And you'll ask a lot of times to get anything. A good booker is worth their weight in gold.

The more you play the more you make. Just don't get overexposed in one area. Be willing to move around - and book every venue that will pay you along the road there and back.

Lazy people will tell you it's not fair. People with less talent will tell you the system is rigged against them. Busy, successfull people will tell you there are opportunities everywhere.  In fact, the more you work and get known - the more opportunities come your way. Eventually you have to be more selective. There just isn't enough time in the day.  

Work harder and work smarter. Put your energies into the stuff that pays you back the most. What's your profit margin on merch? Downloads? CD's? Heck, know what it costs to drive to your gigs. If you play in a far away town, book another gig on the way there or back to make it profitable. DO more of the profitable stuff and ditch/curtail the rest. 

80 percent of bands are just going through the motions.  Let them fight over the scraps while you get better - and more successfull.